Convention center and 25-story hotel headed for area near Citi Field
Fleet Financial Group plans to break ground on the $200 million project in June. The Flushing-based group purchased the 1.67-acre DiBlasi Ford dealership, at 112-21 Northern Blvd., for $17 million last month.
The site sits across the Grand Central Parkway from Citi Field, where a $3 billion mega-mall and housing complex is planned for Willets Point.
?For the longest time, Queens has wanted to have some sort of facility like a Javits Center,? said Fleet president Richard Xia, who chose the location for its close proximity to the airports. ?It?s going to be great for the area.?
The group plans to build 292 five-star hotel rooms and 236 apartments above the roughly 106,000-square-foot convention center. The project will also include about 97,000 square feet of retail space, a restaurant and parking.
Xia is also in talks with Audi to put a showroom on the site.
The development, and in particular the conference center, should be a boon for the borough, said Queens Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Seth Bornstein.
?We really lack quality convention space,? said Bornstein, who added the project will bring jobs and an influx of business travelers to Queens. ?It?s a good location for a good development,? he noted.
And the up-and-coming area can support the project, said real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller.
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